One of the things that all writers struggle with is figuring out exactly what to call the main character’s parents. I usually go with Mom and Dad unless I’m writing a fantasy and then I go with the local equivalent. But I recently ran across a great explanation on Orson Scott Card’s website on exactly why … More Referring to Parents
My article Prospecting for Gold Nuggets is now up on the Institute for Children’s Literature’s website. It discusses how important it is to come up with a strong premise for your writing projects.
First chapters and last chapters are often among the hardest ones for any novelist. You have to first pull the reader smoothly into your world with the first and ease them out in a satisfying way in the last. It’s necessary to put in just enough information so that the readers know exactly what’s going … More YA Mystery: Chapter 1 Revision is Done!
Every writer learns that it’s important to create three-dimensional characters. The people who come to life in books must occupy fictional space in unique and interesting ways. But because most stories are about a protagonist’s personal journey–even if that person never leaves the backyard–characters should truly be four-dimensional. The character at the end of the … More Four dimensional characters
A few years ago I was on a walk with my son when he was in seventh or eight grade. He’d just finished reading a first draft of one of my manuscripts. “I really liked Sophia,” he said. “But you’re really going to have to introduce her earlier.” I laughed because he was exactly right. My … More Inserting Characters
There is no great writing, only great rewriting. – Justice Brandeis That quote sums up the importance of revision rather nicely. It will be one of the themes for the 2010 SCBWI Missouri retreat on revision, which will be held April 23-25 at the Trout Lodge YMCA. I’ll be one of the presenters. Here’s an excerpt … More The Writers’ Revision Retreat
I finished up the conversations in Chapter 5 and linked them together loosely in a rougher than usual draft. I know that I’m going to have to go back and add in more specific detail, but I’ve done a lot of meditating on the changes that I’ll need to be doing on my YA mystery, … More Chapter 5: Done! At Least for Now.